Written by Terry Smith
Our site is reader supported so when you click a link to Amazon we may earn an affiliate commission.
UK’s best BBQ fish baskets for grilling that will stop fish sticking to your grill
This article was last updated on May 30th, 2022 at 11:12 am
BBQ fish is as timeless a dish as any, and with good reason. But there are a few problems with fish on my charcoal bbq or smoker. How many times have you put a bit of fish directly onto your grate to find the skin sticks, peels, and generally makes a right mess – or on a grill mat and don’t get crispy skin. And it’s even worse / compounded for small fish like sardines or mackerel on the BBQ. I know from years of trying and testing – that’s when I was randomly walking through a French supermarket one day and found a fish basket – going back two decades now! Since then, I have always used fish baskets – turning is a doddle, and some of the best fish baskets don’t cost an arm and a leg either – some twist a bit under the heat but are still totally functional. Here’s a look at what used to be my favourite fish basket for sardines and mackerel still going strong after 5 years! I’m afraid since testing the Weber and ACMETOP this doesn’t get used as often. I used to use it for larger fish like Bass and Salmon – you can see what works easily from the size / shape but sardines and mackerel go in at an angle just perfectly too:
Now the Weber fish basket has come along and retired my wonderful ASAB to an extent. However, with that said, I wouldn’t rule them out on budget. But for the incredible non stick power of Weber fish baskets they have to go top – and that’s from extensive personal testing:
TOP TIP and UPDATE from the above !! I just got hold of the Weber BBQ Basket and it is absolutely hands down the best fish basket I have ever come across! If you’re like me and you like fatty fish like Sea Bream then you’ll probably love how the skin crisps up! However, on my previous top pick, the AIGMM – it will invariably get stuck to the metal grille – the Weber has this sorted and I can’t quite believe it and without being shown a video I wouldn’t believe it either:
There are few things as delicious as a nice piece of fish cooked over an open flame, and it doesn’t matter if your into food smokers, charcoal bbq’s, or gas bbq’s – the outcome is still superb we can all agree despite our differences in preferred cooking method 🙂 If you want to know more then please take a look at my fish baskets buyer guide
Best BBQ fish baskets – my top picks from using them the last twenty years:
Best bbq fish basket overall: Weber Basket – best of the best fish basket that even leaves Sea Bream skin crispy and in tact [test and proven personally]
Best pick if you want a handle: ACMETOP Portable BBQ Grill Basket Best for prawns and shell fish[test and proven personally]
If the ACMETOP isn’t available: AIGMM Portable Stainless Steel BBQ Barbecue Grilling Basket for Fish
Decent alternative pick: Penobon Fish Grilling Basket,
Budget pick: ASAB BBQ Fish Grill Basket – these are what I use personally and have tested
Things worth knowing before buying a bbq fish basket
Cooking fish well on a BBQ is actually more of a challenge than most people think, and find out the hard way when trying it themselves for the first time. You see, unlike a steak or pork chop, which will keep its shape and stay structurally sound no matter what you do to it, a piece of fish, especially a skinless fillet like salmon, can quite easily flake and break apart, and end up in the ashes below the grill.
To counter this, experienced BBQ aficionados use a BBQ fish basket, which is essentially a handheld double grill ‘cage’ or basket to hold the fish in. Not only does it keep everything held together and in place while the fish cooks, but also makes one of the most difficult aspects of cooking fish in a BBQ easier: turning it over. So here’s a look at some of the crucial components to consider that define the quality of a bbq fish basket
Best BBQ Fish Baskets Buyers’ Guide
If you’ve got a moment, I’d advise you to read this brief buyers’ guide on the subject of BBQ fish baskets. If you’re new to these products, it might help you to make up your mind, and maybe steer you away from buying something that’s not worth the money.
You need a gap between the grates or it’ll squash your food
Surprisingly some of these grated don’t have loose rings that allow you to fold a little wider or grates that are wide in the first place. This is a bit of a shocker and as a result is squishes food. To make this a little clearer please look at the diagram to understand what I mean better:
The biggest problem
From my experience with BBQ fish baskets, the number one problem for people new buyers, is the fact that most of them look identical. This might lead you to just buying any of them, or even one that is a few pounds cheaper than the others, but you have to be careful.
Despite looking very, very similar, there are often differences in the overall quality, even if they are made from the same materials. This is why it is important to read product review pages like this one, to get some honest feedback about each individual product.
Probably the most important part of a BBQ fish basket is how well it locks and stays locked. If this part has been neglected in quality control, then you’re left with a product that is fairly useless, and as soon as you go to flip the basket, everything will fall out or at least move around, and this defeats the purpose of the tool.
The vast majority of these products are around the same size (roughly 32cm x 22cm), however, some companies might be a bit tricky and measure from the handle and use other, similar tricks to sell you a smaller basket for the same price. Always make sure that the product you buy has a picture showing the precise measurements, and take more than just a passing glance at it. In fact, I always reach for the trusty tape measure before buying anything to give me a good idea of what to expect.
Large rack, or small, singular style?
The larger BBQ fish racks are a better choice if you have to cook for a lot of people at once, but the smaller baskets that only house a single fish or piece of meat are better for getting the cooking process just right. What’s more, they only have a small profile, so it is feasible to cook different types of fish and meat side by side and get them all just right. In a large rack this is much more difficult to do.
Best BBQ fish basket reviews
So, if you’re looking to serve up some perfectly grilled fish to your guests this summer, do yourself a favour and spend a few pounds on the best BBQ fish basket. They’re inexpensive, will last you for ages if you take care of them, and will really improve your BBQ cooking skills.
Here are reviews of the most popular BBQ fish baskets currently available for home delivery in the UK, and once you’re done reading those, you’ll find our Best BBQ Fish Baskets Buyers’ Guide at the bottom of the page. Enjoy.
The Weber Basket shouldn’t excite me. It’s a fish basket. But after testing the ACMETOP on Sea Bream I was really gutted to lose that beautiful crispy skin. Somehow, the Weber Basket is capable of actually being non stick on Sea Bream too. You wouldn’t believe how delicious that crispy Sea Bream skin was in the video. Mackeral, Sardines, Prawns, Bass, or the Herring – all didn’t stick from testing. Absolutely astonishing. I had to video the Bream or you might not have believed it! Here’s a look:
As I mention the closest competitor is the ACMETOP – I have to say that this is Premier League and then everything else is way behind, leagues behind. That said, the price tag is double so I suppose you expect performance for your money. I just didn’t expect it to be this good after testing all the other fish baskets!
One thing I noticed was the catch is quite loose and often wants to pop open. I used to believe this was a bigger issue but now realise no so much when you lift, you simply pinch the basket and that’s fine when handling a decent sized fish like a 1lb plus Sea Bream. Talking of which, this is about the optimum size for this fish basket:
As you’ll also note, it doesn’t fit perfectly into the larger eggs from the Video. However, on my standard bbq smoker it’s much easier to use. I popped on my bbq gloves and used my bbq tool set with little difficulty, but I’m just being clear it is a little pernickety.
The other thing you’ll notice when you first pick it up, is just how thin the metal grate is compared to the other fish baskets. And I think that is their success when you look at these closely. Initially when I saw how think the metal was I worried it would twist under extreme heat – but not the case at all – superb quality steel. It remained in excellent condition for dozens of BBQ’s. Though I will say I have never bothered trying to remove the darkish char completely when washing. I think you would manage that no problem in the dishwasher:
So with all that said, from personally using and testing this, I would absolutely recommend this to anyone that enjoys crispy skin from fatty fish – it’s just as good on Salmon and Bass too! I would probably go for the cheaper ACME if you don’t eat the skin anyway!
2. ACMETOP Portable BBQ Grill Basket
After testing a couple more fish baskets and comparing them directly on my charcoal bbq the AIGMM slips down to third because the new, ACMETOP Portable BBQ Grill Basket does a brilliant job on almost all fish grilling. The only draw back I found is the skin will stick on larger fish and that’s a big deal for me. I’ve shortened this video as much as possible to save you time and just slowed up for the most important parts – you’ll see sardines and prawns are absolutely perfect. And whilst the sea Bream cooks beautifully, the skin will invariably stick and that sends me into a rage when I can see just how beautiful that skin is crisped up! 😀 Here’s a look at this video:
So as you can see, it handles sardines wonderfully. Not on the video but tested are mackerel, and herring. Both of these come out great. Herring tries to stick a bit, maybe a little more than sardines. So if we break it down and compare directly from testing with the Weber, you’ll note this is half the money, but the big sacrifice is the fact you’ll lose the skin on fish like Sea Bream and Bass. The meat is obviously entirely in tact, but for me that’s a deal breaker and I never use this at home for the larger fatty fish. It’s such a shame because look how well I am able to manage the cooking too:
Where it beats the Weber though is the handle. With Weber being an out and out basket it’s hard to lift and move about. OK with a decent pair of BBQ gloves (like the ones you see in my video) it’s no big deal but certainly a draw back. And as a result, for small fish or prawns that want flipping often it’s a big advantage. Here’s a look at just how manageable a batch of sardines are:
The other thing with this is flare ups. Sea Bream is brimming with fat that cooks off. So will constantly flare up. On occasion it does need a lift and placed in a different position. Much easier with this than the Weber when compared directly from extensive testing myself.
So when you weigh this up against the AIGMM I would personally pick this, but for absolute performance you go to the Weber. With that said, if you don’t eat the skin, then this is the bargain you’re looking for! Enjoy your Summer BBQ’s guys.
3. AIGMM Portable Stainless Steel BBQ Barbecue Grilling Basket for Fish
Easily one of the most popular fish baskets on sale at the moment is this one from AIGMM, and I have to agree with the masses that this is one of the best value-for-money products out there – they are pretty much in direct competition with the penobon Fish Grilling Basket when you look at them and compare the quality. So you may want to opt for the latter, cheap option I’ve just mentioned as they are very similar. Both are crucially 430 Steel. This used to be my top pick but since testing the Weber (which is in a different universe to the rest of the fish baskets in this review) the ACMETOP has risen above this too.
Made mostly from 430 stainless steel, albeit with a good quality handle, the AIGMM BBQ fish basket is easy to clean by hand, but you can also throw it in the dishwasher if you’re feeling lazy. Being stainless steel also means that it will fight off rust and corrosion for longer.
At 12.6 by 8.6 inches, there’s enough space in the basket to cook enough food for 2-3 adults, and the lockable grill plate will make sure everything stays in its place throughout the cooking process, no matter if you’re grilling fish, meat, vegetables, or potatoes.
As an additional bonus, the manufacturer is throwing in a free sauce brush, so you can give your BBQ creations even more flavour. All of this for just over 22 quid isn’t a bad deal at all. No wonder it’s such a popular product.
4. ASAB BBQ Fish Grill Basket
While the larger BBQ fish baskets are all well and good, they do ultimately have the same flaw. What I’m talking about is cooking times. let’s say you have 2 different types of fish and some vegetables in the large rack all at once, they’re not all going to cook at the same speed, so you’ll either end up burning something, undercooking something, or you have to open the BBQ fish basket to remove something, and that might cause some problems.
Right off the bat I’ll tell you I won’t use these anymore if I want the skin crisped up. The Weber is just far too good. The skin does stick on these but the meat will remain in tact. I would certainly use the ACMETOP ahead of these for Sardines and other smaller fatty fish like Mackerel too. The obvious draw back from testing these is just the sticking, but then of course there’s the cost. These can’t be ignored on the price, they are easily the best on a budget and that’s not changed in all the time I have updated this article – no matter how many fish baskets I test!
And with that highlighted I would definitely consider these. Because they are designed to hold a single piece of fish can have a narrow profile, you can have multiple baskets cooking at the same time, but remove, or flip them at different intervals, giving you more control of the cooking process – they are very easy to flip and the fish stays put in the basket no problem. As you can see I have two – and it’s from my years of testing and using these that I bring you this handy trick. Since I bought mine the handle appears to have changed – it might be worth hunting around for my handle style – let’s face it, as long as these are steel that you can eat from, they all come from a factory in the East:
Plus two is cheaper than my top picks, I’ve had them for years, and know they last so yeah, win all around as long as you don’t mind the design.
Of course, everything has its downsides, and these might not be the best things to use if you are cooking for a large number of people, but if you have the time, or not that many mouths to feed, these BBQ fish baskets can allow you to get each individual piece of fish just right.
These particular baskets are well-made, with a solid, wooden handle, and a basket constructed out of chrome plated stainless steel to help keep rust at bay and prolong its working life.
They are completely lockable, and do a good job of keeping everything stationary inside, even when flipping, and at 54 x 12cm, you can fit in a decent sized fish in each one.
The best part? These singular BBQ fish baskets go for only 6.99 per piece. Now that’s something to think about.
5. penobon Fish Grilling Basket
The Penobon fish grilling basket is almost identical to the AIGMM product we just reviewed above, but that’s hardly surprising; these are simple devices and companies will copy whatever is popular with customers.
Is it as good as the AIGMM? I’d have to say it is. The metal used for the grill rack seems identical, as does the overall design, right down to the locking mechanism and handle. It is just as easy to clean, and keeps your food from moving around, just as it should.
Measuring 32x22cm, it is slightly larger than the AIGMM BBQ fish basket, and just a tiny bit heavier, but neither of those are really noticeable.
I will say that the free sauce brush included with Penobon’s basket is a superior product, and it certainly looks nicer with its silver handle, and you also get a free storage bag with this product, so that’s something to think about.
Priced around the same as its rival, there isn’t much between the two, and I think you’d be happy with either of them, to be honest.
6. G.a HOMEFAVOR BBQ Grilling Basket Portable 304 Stainless Steel Barbecue Grill Basket
This 13” by 8.6” BBQ fish basket is a good size for a small family (2 adults & 2 kids) BBQ or camp fire, and will make things so much easier, no matter what you decide to cook. It’s in direct competition with the AIGMM and in some respects is higher quality – it’s got 304 steel which if you don’t know means it has Nickel added to make it better suited to corrosion from heat and the elements when compared to the AIGMM and the penobon Fish Grilling Basket. The downside – the cost. But you do get what you pay for, a higher quality fish grill.
I put it through its paces by throwing a load of shrimp in there, a tricky test for a grill that has lots of holes in it, but it played its part very well and I didn’t have to fish out a single piece from the coals.
I really like the look of this BBQ fish basket. In a world where there are so many nearly identical products, the lightly coloured, wooden handle just makes this one stand out and gives a more traditional feel.
At just under 40 pounds, this is almost double the price of some other fish baskets, but it is better quality. The 430 stainless steel is proper, professional food grade material that facilitates better heat distribution, and everything just feels stronger and sturdier with this product.
Also, thrown in for the price you will get a set of reusable kebab skewers, and a silicone sauce brush. The skewers are made from the same high quality stainless steel, look fantastic, and are a great little freebie.
Dishwasher safe, but also very easy to wipe clean with soap, water, and a good dishcloth or sponge, this lockable BBQ fish basket is definitely one of the best you can buy at the moment, and I think it is worth paying the extra 20 pounds or so for it.
7. SHINESTAR Fish Grill Basket
When I first saw the Shinestar BBQ fish basket, I thought “oh here’s another clone of the Penobon product’ and expected it to be equally as good.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite up to the same standards, despite looking nearly identical, so it goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover.
The biggest problem that I had with this product was the locking mechanism for the basket. Now, this is a very important part because you need to flip these baskets at some point, and the lock needs to keep everything held together, but I found with the model we got our hands on, that that wasn’t the case.
This is a shame really, because this could be a great product. It has some nice features like the detachable handle, and adjustable thickness mechanism, and it is a good size for cooking for the family. However, it is let down by some quality control issues, and not just with the lock.
So, it’s with a little bit of sadness that I wouldn’t really recommend this particular BBQ fish basket. It could have just been that we tested a faulty product, but I had other feedback from our customers with the same problem, so it doesn’t inspire confidence in the company. If they can get this part sorted in the future, then I think they will have a winner on their hands, but for now I can’t say I’d buy it.
8. E-More BBQ Grilling Basket
Awarded the “Amazon Choice’ label by the company, the E-more BBQ grilling basket offers the potential customer pretty good value for money.
It has a 32x22cm grill rack that has grid gaps of just over half an inch, so there’s little chance of anything substantial falling through them when you’re flipping the basket. The rack is, like most others. Made from 430 stainless steel to protect it from rust, and also to aid in preventing food from sticking to it.
Featuring a removable handle, you don’t have to worry about wearing heat protective gloves with this fish basket. Simply slide the rack onto the BBQ, detach the handle, and walk away until it’s time to reattach and flip, or remove.
This feature has the added benefit of making it easier to fit into the dishwasher, or into the free storage bag. Of course, if you are a camper, anything that folds or detaches is always useful for carrying purposes.
As well as the storage bag, E-more have given you a couple of basting brushes free too. These aren’t anything special, to be honest, but they’re free, and do what they’re meant to. Being silicone, you will have to remember not to leave them too close to the heat though, but that’s just common sense.
The locking mechanism, yet again, is what lets this down. Not to the degree of the Shinestar product, but it was still a bit of a struggle to get it to shut properly. Once closed, it stayed that way, and there were no problems, but when I see very similar products like the AIGMM and Penobon that have got that part down pat, I have to feel a little disappointed, especially when it is priced the same.